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National Roller Coaster Museum expands its historic collection

by Kayla Springmyer

The National Roller Coaster Museum (NRCMA) has added a historic 1918 roller coaster car to its collection. The car is from the Rocky Springs Jack Rabbit coaster, which operated from 1918-1927 in Lancaster, Pa.

roller coaster museum
Photos courtesy of NRCMA

American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) members, Jim Bowen and John Hayek, donated the piece to the museum, located in Plainview, Texas.

“In 1918 the Jack Rabbit would have been operated with three three-car trains,” said NRCMA historian B. Derek Shaw. “The number nine on the donated car denotes it was the last car of the three trains. We know this train operated as the Jack Rabbit and not the park’s Wildcat coaster because it has bronze bushing wheels and not the more modern roller bearing wheels which operated on the trains of the Wildcat. It is a beautiful example of that era and even features the original paint and likely the original upholstery.”

roller coaster museum

NRCMA also acquired an authentic model of the Phoenix wooden coaster from Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg, Pa. ACE member John Hunt built the original Phoenix model, and model builder Dave Rouse recently completed a restoration over the last three years. NRCMA is currently building a display for the model, and plans to unveil it once its newest building opens to the public.

NRCMA also nears completion on The Mark Moore Memorial Wing, named after the NRCMA founding member who passed away in 2016. The new building will attach to the current 8,000 square feet of museum archive space.

The National Roller Coaster Museum relies on donations of amusement park fans and visitors. To donate, visit RollerCoasterMuseum.org or send donations directly to P.O. Box 5424, Arlington, Texas 76005.

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